Catherine SedaIn a story on SEW called “Search Arbitrage: Good or Evil?” Catherine Seda writes about a session she attended at San Jose SES which dealt for the most part with search engine arbitrage.

First off… Hi, Catherine, 2 months ago called… it took you 2 months to write this article? !wayoldnews

looking at the article..

“Who is to say what’s good arbitrage and bad arbitrage?” asked Tim Daly, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Sendtec.

Daly believes it’s the advertiser who is paying for clicks. He then exposed TrueLocal’s arbitrage activity and called that a bad user experience. Daly showed that TrueLocal was bidding on “motorcycle parts” and promoting “Bargains in motorcycle parts here!” in their ad copy. TrueLocal’s landing page wasn’t a list of vendors, as consumers might expect. Instead, the landing page contained PPC ads. To access a list of vendors, consumers had to scroll below the fold and then type in their ZIP code. Is this a good or bad user experience?

I dont know what relationship Catherine and Tim Daly have outside of this panel but everytime he breathed she gave him a (solo) standing ovation… most of the times she stood up a lot of us in the audience were like ummm he didnt even make a point. It was really annoying.

As far as him “outing” Jake Baillie…. Jake said exactly what they were doing in his presentation. It wasnt like it was rocket science…. Way to “out” the obvious!

Kristopher Jones, President and CEO of, echoed Daly’s position and called the recirculation of PPC ads bad. But, he also criticized Google’s landing page algorithm crack-down. Jones said Google’s latest update is unfairly penalizing some ad publishers. It’s a huge problem for affiliates. And this concerns Jones, especially since he’s the CEO of an affiliate marketing management agency.

ehhh what?!?!? The only thing I remember Kris Jones asking of Tim Daly was what his point was in “outing” the obvious.

The majority of the people in the audience erupted in applause each time Jake Baillie owned this Tim Daly guy with his responses.

Catherine Seda – I dont know what agenda you have but maybe be a little more accurate in your reporting next time? Arbitrage is real in every market and although it maybe new to you its not “evil or good” its just the way it is.

UPDATE: Mike Jones response on revenews

UPDATE 2: Pepperjam CEO who was on the panel responds here

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

26 thoughts on “Sew Author Catherine Seda Clearly Does Not Get it”
  1. Shoe did you see on her site where she will teach you how to get #1 position on the search engines for 100$ !!

    What a joke. You can tell danny is not moderating these authors anymore.

  2. Chris Sherman runs and reviews the articles in SearchDay, so I’ll point him at this, so he can take on board your criticism. I didn’t attend the panel, since I was moderating another one.

    Frankly, reading it now, I don’t see saying it’s either good or bad but “just the way it is” as you put it.

    Perhaps some of a few particular word choices could be better, but the conclusion she wrote seems pretty valid. There are a variety of opinions, often ranging by where you are in the arbitrage space.

    As for dissing her for being “late,” it’s actually common that SearchDay will run articles several weeks after the event. We usually have stories already lined up, and conference coverage sometimes doesn’t have to come immediately after the show to still be useful. In short, blame us, not her.

  3. Danny-

    I read it as a complete misrepresentation of what actually happened at the panel. Her Agenda to make this Tim Daly look so awesome and Jake to look like the evil guy is not very transparent. Ask anyone in the audience when she would jump up and applaud every time tim said something like a proud parent. The only reason I knew who she was is because people were asking if that was Tim’s wife in the audience then someone said her name was Catherine Seda and thats a hard name to forget.

  4. I was at that panel and I am curious why she does not talk about how Tim was SUPER ANNOYING when he kept badgering at the true local guy. I remember one of the panelists at one time stopping him and asking what was the point.

  5. Sorry but if you had to wait two months to finish this article that’s all that needs to be said.

    Misrepresentation, old news, butt kissing, it’s an entire blog wrapped into one post! Oh wait, now Shoe’s link bait 😉

  6. Thanks. Like I said, I wasn’t in that session, so I wasn’t aware of her audience participation, as it were. I’ll follow up with Chris.

  7. I don’t think the conclusions she drew are “valid”, primarily because she didn’t draw any conclusions. In fact, I’m not even sure if the article is a report on what happened at the panel, or an opinion piece.

    The problem is that no one is drawing the line between true search arbitrageurs and affiliates using PPC as a tool to drive traffic. Clearly there is a difference between the two, but no one including Google seems to want to make that distinction and take action on it.

    I don’t have a problem with TrueLocal’s PPC arbitrage, but don’t try to tell me its the same as directing PPC traffic to a ringtone affiliate landing page. Guess which one the quality score is affecting?

    In any case, you want something really controversial to talk about? How about when Kim Malone said Google was going to start taking into account Adwords conversion data. I don’t think I even need to explain the implications of that one.

  8. […] FYI: Fellow Pepperjam Blogger Michael Jones recently blogged about this topic over at  Also – check out ShoeMoney’s controversial blog post on this issue HERE. […]

  9. shoemoney tells it like it is. if what he says is true about her jumping up all the time, man I imagine that must have been pretty funny!

  10. I used to naively think that ppc arbitrage was bad. The reality is it can serve a real purpose and provide a beneficial experience. If you are able to direct people in a manner where they can eventually find what they are looking for instead of being lost somewhere else it is a win for everyone.

    Clearly doesn’t mean all arbitrage sites are good or beneficial, but this idea that they are just blanket bad for everyone is wrong. I know, because I used to erroneously believe the same thing.

  11. Nice post, Shoe. Did you notice that about mid way down your post your text is being clipped on the left?

  12. Good Post + Search arb is not a bad thing despite the bad press it gets. Clearly there will be bad search arb and good search arb in exactly the same way that there are good and bad affiliates. In reality they are very similar, affiliates have to work harder but the resulting commision returns a better margin and both are simply connecting users with advertisers.

  13. Ouch. Okay…

    The article—all of the speakers approved their comments before my article was published (I don’t want to risk misrepresenting them). In follow-up interviews, I did ask several folks for more info so each person could express his/her viewpoint (hence, the additional comments from Kris).

    People are passionate about arbitrage. They love it or loathe it. The speakers made that point clear. I wanted to show these extremes to people who couldn’t be there. That’s why I ended my article with “Generally speaking, business owners and marketing agencies see arbitrage as a detrimental practice, while those profiting as ad publishers and affiliates like the opportunity arbitrage presents.�

    The session—hey now; I don’t recall jumping up and down for Tim (although you paint a pretty funny picture). Nope, I just met him at SES. I think explaining the debate between Tim and Jake shows how (in general), people doing arbitrage think it’s good while those who don’t think it’s bad. Obviously, this is an over-simplified explanation. However, it’s easier to start here when writing an article that has to be understood by a newbie audience too.

    Hey Kris, thanks for commenting. I’ve sent this to the panelists for their comments. Yup, good link bait for you.

  14. Catherine Seda wants to be a rock star but doesn’t know how to act like one.

    One of her “monthly� (more like quarterly) e-zines ended up in my junk folder so I emailed her to give a heads up and let her know why I thought it may have happened. Just a professional courtesy. I got a canned response telling me that “maybe�, one her assistants “might� get back to me if it was important enough. Never heard from her.

    On the other hand, I emailed Seth Godin about a broken link on his web site. He emailed me back personally within 2 hours to thank me and started a one-on-one dialog with me.

    I’m just guessing, but I’ll bet if I emailed Shoemoney about a major problem on his site, he’d extent the courtesy of a response.

    Seth Godin = Rock Star
    ShoeMoney = Rock Star
    Catherine Seda = Not a Rock Star

  15. Search Engine Marketing 2006: Τα 102 σημαντικότερα γεγονότα της χρονιάς » Το Î’log για τις Μηχανές Αναζήτησης says:

    […] The Arbitrage Debate […]

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